Global Tel Link (GTL), one Louisiana’s largest provider of inmate communications, is in hot water. Apparently, in its last nearly two decades of contracting with the Louisiana Department of Corrections, GTL has bilked customers to the tune of nearly $3 million.
The fraud, abuse and lack of integrity of GTL was called to attention by the Louisiana Public Service Commission (LPSC). After discovering the abuses, Dallas based Securus Technologies — also, one of the largest providers of inmate telecommunications — decided to release a series of reports outlining the abuses. “We were shocked to find out the extent of the fraud and how long its been going on,” said Securus Technology CEO Rick Smith.
Smith says Securus will release a series of articles over the next few weeks in an attempt to shame GTL into doing right. GTL’s behavior was not only wrong but fully intentional, according to a LPSC official.
Smith went on to say that it doesn’t matter how long ago it happened. He used Bernie Madoff as an example, citing “I don’t care if he defrauded people 50 years ago, I still wouldn’t want to do business with him now.
The infractions committed by GTL are extremely severe. Common practices include over-billing clients by fraudulently padding call time, double billing of calls, interfering with clocks to artificially increase time and ignoring FCC regulated caps in order to charge more money per minute. Louisiana taxpayers were billed over $2 million for the fraud.
Prison insiders say this is one of the worse cases of fraud they have ever witnessed. “It makes the entire telecommunications industry look bad,” said Smith.
GTL did not respond to requests for a interview.